Pam’s Belgian Beef Stew

I got an email from my brother Gregg who lives in Malmo, Sweden. He said he didn’t want to seem like an old lady sending me recipes, but this stew is just yummy! I haven’t tried it. You guys out there try it and then let me know how it is. We’ll see who makes it first!

Gregg and Pam both LOVE food and have FABULOUS taste in just about everything, so I trust their judgement without even having made it yet.

Belgian Beef Stew
1/4 lb bacon, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 lbs boneless chuck, bottom or top round, cut into 2-in cubes
2 large onions, sliced
1/4 c cognac or brandy
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tsp brown sugar
1 12-oz can dark beer or stout
1 1/2 c beef broth
3 slices country-style bread, crusts removed
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Cook bacon in Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot until brown and crisp. Remove with slotted spoon. Set aside.

Add olive oil to the fat remaining in pan. Heat over medium-high heat. Pat meat dry with paper towels and brown very well, in batches. Remove from pan and set aside as they are done. Brown onions in remaining fat, remove, and set aside. Discard any remaining fat.

Reduce heat to low. Add cognac and scrape up all the browned bits. Carefully light with a match and swirl to burn off the alcohol.

Heat oven to 325º F. Return bacon, beef, and onions to pan. Stir in salt, thyme, pepper, bay leaves, garlic, brown sugar, beer, and broth. Spread the bread with the mustard and lay on top.

Heat to boiling. Remove from heat, cover, and place in oven. Cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat is fork-tender, stirring occasionally.

Before serving, skim fat from the sauce. Stir in vinegar.

Hands on time: 45 mins
Total time: 3 1/2 hours
Yield: 6 servings

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